‘BAND Offsite Exhibition’ Showcases Black Canadian art

By Stephen Weir

By Khalid Roman

The opening tonight of the BAND Offsite exhibition at Nicholas Metivier Gallery marks a significant milestone in the evolution of Black Canadian art in the country. With its prestigious location and expansive exhibition space, the renowned gallery has stepped in to support the Black Artists’ Networks in Dialogue (BAND) during the reconstruction of their own facility.

BAND, a gallery and arts center situated on Brock Avenue in Parkdale, is currently undergoing renovations and is scheduled to reopen later this year. In the meantime, Nicholas Metivier Gallery has graciously provided BAND with a downtown opportunity to showcase the incredible talent of Black Canadian artists.

“We are thrilled to partner with Nicholas Metivier Gallery to present a preview of BAND’s upcoming 2023 exhibition season,” announced the BAND curatorial team. “We have an extraordinary lineup of artists for the BAND Offsite exhibition, including painters Khalid Romain, Moses Salihou, and Ehiko Odeh, each of whom will have their solo shows at BAND during our summer/fall exhibition season.”

The highly anticipated BAND Offsite exhibition commences tonight with an exclusive invitation-only launch at Nicholas Metivier Gallery, located at 190 Richmond St. E. The participating artists will be present during the opening. The exhibition will run to July 8th, welcoming visitors Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.

A special artist talk is also scheduled for Friday, July 7th, at 6 pm at Nicholas Metivier Gallery, providing attendees with an opportunity to engage with BAND curators and gain deeper insights into the work of the three artists.

Moses Salhou

Upon entering the gallery space, visitors are greeted by a diverse array of artwork that exemplifies the unique perspectives and creative expressions of the presenting artists. One notable piece is a large, vibrant painting featuring five Black women wearing African masks and not much else. Created by Ehiko Odeh, this artwork serves as a response to Pablo Picasso’s renowned cubist painting, “Demoiselles d’Avignon.” Odeh, originally from Lagos, Nigeria, now resides and works in Toronto. Her body of work explores themes of decolonization, health and wellness, spirituality connected to traditional Afrakan masks, sexual violence, and the representation of melanated hair.

Adjacent to Odeh’s piece hangs the work of Khalid Romain, a self-taught Trinidadian artist known for his mastery of acrylic and oil. Romain’s paintings captivate viewers with their dynamic movement and expressive use of color, creating visually captivating narratives.

Completing the trio is Moses Salihou, a visual artist hailing from Cameroon, now based in Toronto. Salihou’s work is reminiscent of visual poetry, transcending boundaries and inviting limitless interpretations. Through various mediums such as oil, acrylic, watercolor, pigment, and charcoal, Salihou weaves a tapestry of emotions and experiences.

The BAND Offsite exhibition at Nicholas Metivier Gallery offers a unique opportunity to explore the rich and diverse world of Black Canadian art. With its thought-provoking pieces and the exceptional talent of the participating artists, this exhibition serves as a testament to the growing prominence and significance of Black art in Canada.

The public is invited to visit Nicholas Metivier Gallery, located at 190 Richmond Street East, from Tuesday, June 20th, to July 8th, 2023, to experience this extraordinary showcase of Black Canadian artistic expression firsthand.